Sylven Beck

Sylven Beck
Associate Professor, Curriculum & Pedagogy
(202) 994-9084

Sylven Beck has made a career of influencing others. For the last 30 years, Dr. Beck has been a professor of elementary education at the George Washington University, instructing and mentoring some of the brightest aspiring teachers in the country. Her role at GW's Graduate School of Education and Human Development (GSEHD) is definitively prolific: she inspires and teaches students who then inspire and teach others, their own elementary students. And after 30 years and hundreds of students, Beck's impact extends nationwide. But her influence is not confined to the classroom. "Over the last 10 years, I've realized it's not about the content," she says. "Yes, you've got to teach these aspiring teachers how to teach children science and math and how to read. But first and foremost, they have to teach their children to be kind to one another, to take care of one another. This is the most important lesson I could leave with my students."

Beck's lessons of kindness permeate her life. A member of the GW Heritage Society, she donates to the university for the same reason she teaches: because one person can have a tremendous impact on the lives of others. Her strategy may not be typical in its approach, but it's exponential in its effect. She continues to teach from the heart and the Beck Endowment continues to provide much needed scholarship funds to deserving students. And the cycle of kindness endures.

"Everyone in this life can impact others for good," Beck says. "To what degree, is a decision entirely up to us."

Ed.D., The George Washington University
M.S. in Ed., City University of New York, City College
B.A., Marymount Manhattan College


Beck, S., Tate, P., & Giglio, A. (2002). Meeting national standards for the program conceptual framework: An effective model of a powerful teacher education program. In J. D.

Wizer, D. R. and Beck, S. S. (1996). Using online discussions to study diversity. Journal of Computing in Teacher Education, 13(1), 6-11.


Beck, S. & Page, R. (2001, February). The professional program portfolio as silent advocate: Charting pre-service growth and development in an elementary teacher preparation program. Paper presented at the Association of Teacher Educators Annual Meeting. New Orleans, LA.

In the News

Elementary literacy instructor Kim Sloan led the Alumni as Experts: Elementary Education Professional Development Workshop hosted by the Office of Alumni Relations. Kim Sloan and Dr. Sylven Beck welcomed alumni back to campus, where they had the opportunity to learn new tactics and skills and to network with other GW alumni working in the field of elementary education.